Thursday 22 June 2017

Tickets advertised for €400 - but touts take a hit in their pockets and slash prices as throw-in nears

Touts outside the Hill 16 entrance to Croke Park were offering tickets for the Nally Stand for as little as €20. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Touts outside the Hill 16 entrance to Croke Park were offering tickets for the Nally Stand for as little as €20. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Robin Schiller

Ticket touts were forced to slash their extortionate prices ahead of the All-Ireland Football Championship semi-final after struggling to sell match tickets.

Touts outside the Hill 16 entrance to Croke Park were offering tickets for the Nally Stand for as little as €20, which was face value.

One increasingly desperate man offered two €40 tickets for the Hogan stand for just €50.

Another middle-aged man, was offering punters a €30 Hill 16 ticket for €40.

Shortly after 3pm, the ticket price dropped even further and the ticket tout eventually got just €35 as the throw-in grew closer.

Despite tickets being offered at close to and even less than face value outside Croke Park at times, certain websites had been advertising tickets the Dublin-Kerry clash for almost €400 just days before the game.

However, new laws being proposed in the Dáil could see touts facing up to two years in prison. A private member's bill, based on Portuguese laws, will be introduced by Dublin TD Noel Rock in the autumn.

Currently, there are no laws banning people from selling match or concert tickets at extortionate prices.

"It won't be 100pc effective, but it will drive some of the more militant operators off the street.

"People in the industry have told me that around 10pc of tickets for events are purchased by people with the explicit intention of selling them on," Mr Rock previously told the Irish Independent.

The law only outlaws above-cost selling, which means that people who need to sell a ticket to an event for genuine reasons will still be able to do so.

Gardaí will also be able to confiscate tickets from suspected touts under the laws.

This additional power could pose a massive problem for GAA ticket touts, many of whom were operating within yards of Fitzgibbon Street garda station.

Irish Independent

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